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Crestron Electronics, Inc.

Crestron offers the only complete end-to-end solution with a complete line of hardware and software. Crestron not only connects and controls devices; we integrate and automate all the building systems to provide a connected experience. We deliver integrated solutions for audio, video, IP, lighting and climate control making wiring and installations easier and promoting system integrity.


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A Preview of the Crestron Next-Generation Horizon Keypad
Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2023
A Preview of the Crestron Next-Generation Horizon Keypad

Dealer feedback and careful consideration of every aspect of the device informs the next generation of Crestron's successful keypad

March 15, 2023 - The task seems deceptively simple: Take a successful keypad design that's been in the field for years, mix in dealer and client feedback, and update the item. The line of Crestron Horizon® keypads was just that — an elegant piece of hardware due for this next generation.

With a product like this, however, the variables involved can create more than a few complexities. Consider the item itself: A well-designed keypad has to be completely unobtrusive when it's not in use — and completely intuitive when it is. That requires careful attention to everything from the ergonomics of the device to its ultimate fit and finish, and that latter factor is especially important since it's carrying the Crestron name. It's the difference between a "light switch" and a "multi-function, luxury interface."

Benjamin Slivka, a Crestron group product manager for residential solutions, explains how the process played out: "It got to a point where for us to get this to the next level of quality that we wanted, we had to make more profound changes. It can't just be iterative things like making minor tweaks here and there. It required significant changes to the design of the product mechanically."

At the end of the process comes the next generation in the Horizon keypad line — again, not a tweaking of the original Horizon products, but a rethinking of the device. "This latest generation elevates our most popular keypad to the next level — with form, function, and design at the heart of everything we have been undertaking," says Crestron's Executive Vice President (Residential) John Clancy.

This version of the product features:

  • A better tactile experience. A very slight protrusion differentiates the buttons from the rest of the faceplate, making the buttons easier to find when the user might be reaching around a corner. "Additionally, the tactile experience has been made more consistent between button types," says Slivka.
  • Unlimited engraving choices with a new software tool. "We now have a standalone software tool that allows for a variety of customization: fonts, icons, justification, and more," says Slivka. A new tool called Impress was created as a powerful piece of software that was independent of any others so that the team could update it quickly and efficiently as upgrades become available. "It has foreign character support, italics and underlines, and a variety of other typographical elements," he adds.
  • All the configuration options you'll need. "We sifted through thousands of orders, and these covered nearly every single one of the requests we'd received," Slivka explains. "The push-button and rocker configurations in the new version will please any client."
  • Minimal light bleed. "Light bleeding out between the buttons will be extremely minimal at night," says Slivka. "This type of attention to detail is what makes the Next-Generation Horizon Keypads a best-in-class solution."
  • An improved securing mechanism. The original keypads attached at two corners — but not all wallboard is level. "We made the mounting bracket much more rigid, and the faceplate now attaches at all four corners," says Slivka. This means that the keypad won't appear to lift away at any corner even if the wall isn't perfect — yet another improvement to the overall fit and finish.
  • Better color and finish matches. "The dealers will immediately notice much more consistency overall among the color and finish choices we're offering — now and in the future," says Slivka. That consistency extends to other products coming in the near future, such as matching outlets.
  • Variable backlights on the keypads themselves. "As far as the illumination of the keypads are concerned, each individual button can be backlit in a different color," Slivka explains. When using white, the color temperature can be adjusted from cool to warm as well.
  • A better unpacking and installation experience. "We can ship multi-packs of these keypads, even those with custom engravings," says Slivka. This new shipping process — based on dealer feedback — reduces quite a bit of waste. Dealers can also order devices with custom engravings pre-installed for a great user experience out of the box — or order standard engravings with backlights right away.

The initial ordering date for new Horizon keypads is March 1, and current "original version" orders can be converted to the updated version for the same price and keeping your place in the queue also starting March 1. Converted orders will ship as early as May 25, depending on your current spot in the Horizon queue.

New finishes and other features will be coming to market in the future, as will support for Decora® devices. "We'll have USB A+C and 20A outlets, too," says Slivka.

As John Clancy notes, the effort behind this next-gen iteration of a hardware offering speaks to a larger philosophy: the constant advancement and evolution of Crestron products based on client feedback. "We're always striving to make things better, from hardware to software," he says. "We're looking for ways to improve everything we make. Those progressions aren't always huge — sometimes they're a bit incremental — but our designers and engineers are always in contact with our dealers and end users, listening to their requests and evolving our products and platforms."

"After all, the continued evolution of our product lines is key to our growth."